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Photo Gallery: The Decemberists with Ratboys at Salt Shed • Chicago

| May 23, 2024

The Decembrists with Ratboys 

The Salt Shed

Chicago, IL

May 21, 2024

Recap and photos by Curt Baran

Portland, Oregon’s The Decemberists haven’t released an album in eight years, a veritable lifetime in the record industry hourglass. Well, all that’s about to change. The band is set to release As It Ever Was, So It Shall Be Again next month. As patient as they’ve been in releasing new music, they seem considerably less so when it comes to touring. They are already out on the road supporting the material by slowly releasing advanced singles while debuting new songs in the live setting.

This approach led them to a sold-out show at Chicago’s Salt Shed, where lead singer Colin Meloy played the parts of lead singer, carnival barker, and English grad student. With a multi-instrumental band behind him, he embarked on a 15-song setlist that was as much indie folk as it was a dissertation set to song.

During “Burial Ground,” he even joked about how he was able to get everyone to sing about their eventual demise. Hey, teenage death songs have always worked for oversized rock bands, so why not give the quirky bookworms their turn?!? After all, we’re all heading for the same fate.

Chicago’s own Ratboys started the evening out by dropping musical evidence that they very well may be headlining at this venue in the near future.

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